BANDER SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei Darussalam — The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) endorsed ABAC Philippines’ two key initiatives aimed at boosting sustainable development efforts in the region and beyond.
During the second ABAC meeting in Brunei Darussalam from 27-30 April, Aboitiz’s Chief Reputation & Sustainability Officer Ginggay Hontiveros, representing ABAC Philippines and Aboitiz Group CEO Sabin Aboitiz, presented two work plans, focused on developing a free and accessible climate risk data and analysis platform, and exploring the viability of nuclear energy through small modular reactors (SMR) and emerging technology as a zero-carbon energy source.
“These plans reflect our commitment to enabling the transition to low-carbon economies and combating the damaging effects of climate change. Through these initiatives, we aim to develop sustainable and equitable energy solutions within the Asia-Pacific region and beyond,” Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer Sabin M. Aboitiz said.
Aboitiz, a member of ABAC Philippines, is Vice-Chair of the ABAC Sustainable Growth Working Group (SGWG), focused on promoting effective climate change response, advancing the low-carbon energy transition, and addressing sustainable processes in the food value chain.
As part of its role in decarbonization, the ABAC SGWG recognizes the potential of nuclear energy as a driver of the energy transition based on its high return on investment and weather independence. SMRs are advanced compact nuclear reactors that have a fraction of the generating power capacity of traditional nuclear reactors. They can be scaled up or down to help meet energy demands and address energy security. In this regard, ABAC Philippines, together with ABAC Canada will convene an experts roundtable in June to scope the prospects for nuclear, including other use cases such as medical technology and life sciences.
“It will require all available technologies as we embark on this energy transition pathway in the Philippines. Promising technologies such as SMRs can be a viable power source for an equitable and sustainable energy system.” Aboitiz added.
The working group also seeks to develop a climate risk information database and platform, which will help economies to assess the gaps, enhance climate risk assessment capabilities and strengthen climate resilience. Improving availability and accessibility of climate information also enables SMEs to be more integrated into the environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework.
ABAC Philippines is working towards building a cooperative network with other APEC economies and strengthening collaboration with the APEC Energy Working Group. The group recommended establishing a multi-year work program on nuclear energy and integrating climate risk information into the planning process of APEC economies. These plans also garnered support from seven ASEAN members in APEC during the ABAC-ASEAN Caucus held on April 28 at the sidelines of ABAC II.
Focusing on the theme “Equity, Sustainability, and Opportunity,” ABAC Philippines will host the third meeting or ABAC III at the NUSTAR Convention Center in Cebu City, which is expected to gather over 200 senior business executives and guests from the 21 APEC economies.
About ABAC Philippines
APEC Leaders, in 1995, established the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) tasked to provide private sector perspective towards achieving free and open trade and investments in the Asia Pacific region (Bogor goals). In 2020, Leaders adopted the Putrajaya Vision, for an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations.
The Council had its first meeting and Dialogue with Leaders in 1996, when the Philippines first chaired APEC. Ambassador Roberto Romulo of the Philippines served as ABAC’s founding chairman.
Every year, ABAC submits a Report to APEC Leaders which outlines key recommendations focused on regional economic integration. ABAC also engages with Ministers, especially those responsible for Trade, Finance, SME, Energy, Food Security, Health, and Women to address urgent challenges.
ABAC Members representing the Philippines are Tomas Alcantara, Director of Alsons Consolidated Resources and Chair of ABAC Philippines, Sabin Aboitiz, Aboitiz Group President and CEO, and Joanne de Asis, Globe Capital Partners LLC Chairperson, together with Francis Chua, Founding Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, Philippines (ICCP), and Guillermo Luz, Liveable Cities Challenge Chairman.